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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  February 11, 2011 5:30am-6:00am EST

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with us. david axlerod, tom brokaw, jesse jackson, senator dick durbin of illinois will join us here in the next few hours. we are living up to the "way too early" credo this morning, it is never too early to be in a bar. isn't that right, everybody? they're drinking. it's 4:30 in the morning this is home to obama, oprah, michael jordan, as you know, the birthplace of one william russell geist. my home can be visited for only 25 bucks per visitor. the biggest name in town now, rahm emanuel, still on the ballot, opening up a big lead in the race to become the next city's mayor a wgn poll out shows emanuel just one percentage away in this pool from the 50 percentage points he would need to avoid a runoff on
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february 22nd. we'll get into that mayor's race later on. right now it's 4:30 a.m. in chicago. let's wake up together slowly. some help from the bar. shoot me an e-mail at or do what jake does, text the word awake followed by your response to 622639. we'll read the best responses later in the show. more from chicago later in the show, first major overnight developments in egypt. thousands of anti-government protesters are packed into cairo's main square while others have gathered outside the city's presidential palace. the demonstrations come a day after a defiant president mubarak refused to step down despite widespread speculation yesterday that he would. today's mass gathering has been dubbed the friday of martyrs to honor the nearly 300 people reportedly killed nationwide. midday prayers begin shortly in cairo, more demonstrations are expected on a march towards the
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palace. in his speech last night, mubarak announced he will transfer some powers to his recently appointed vice president, omar suleiman, but he did not specify which powers. his statement mostly drove him his willingness to stay in power until september. some chanted get out get out before the speech was over. shortly after, major opposition leader mohammed el baradei warned of potential violent unrests saying in a tweet egypt will explode, army must save the country now. egypt's military issued a statement supporting mubarak's decision not to resign. the army also said it would lift emergency law as soon as current circumstances end. but that is only likely to further enrage the protesters. for the latest, let's bring in ron allen, he joins us on the phone now from tahrir square in
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cairo. ron, good morning. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: good morning. we are seeing the crowds start to build. at this time of day, it's about 12:30 in the afternoon here, the crowds are bigger than they have been since this whole confrontation starting unfolding now a couple weeks ago. it is a time for afternoon prayers. you can hear that in the background now. as soon as the prayers are over, people will storm out of the mosque and head for other places for protests. the square is going to be the center. they are hoping to get a million or more people here. there are other places for protests, the state-run television station, and other places around the city where we expect protesters to gather. they are angry. they are feeling betrayed. i was in the square last night listening to the speech with the huge throng of people out here.
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halfway through the speech people started chanting leave, leave. especially when mubarak said this is nothing about me. people here believe it is all about him. and all they wanted to hear him say was that he was leaving. the transfer of power, some powers, any powers to vice president suleiman is seen as another empty gesture. people see the two as one in the same. they want the entire regime gone. and they want a visible, tangible gesture of him leaving. they want to see him get on a plane and go. they want to see him in some sort of ceremony that marks the clear break with the present and a new future for this country. so far things have been peaceful. last night when the speech ended and people exploded out of the square, it was tense. we were in the middle of the crowd, running through the streets trying to stay ahead of mobs that were forming. so far today, it's peaceful. people are involved in their prayer now. but it's unclear what will happen as the day unfolds,
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particularly if some pro-mubarak factions are able to assemble and get near the anti-government protesters. at this point peaceful but quite a volatile day in cairo. willie? >> those protesters gathered last night fully expected to hear mubarak step aside. they were preparing for a celebration of sorts that was based on widespread reporting from around the word that mubarak would step down. can you explain what happened between that reporting and the actual speech that mubarak made last night? >> it's unclear what happened. the leading theory suggests that mubarak changed his mind at some point in the day, that he just couldn't do it, bring himself to do it. remember, you're talking about an 82-year-old man who for the last 30 years has known nothing but being in charge of this country with an iron fist. he is a military guy, former air force general. a strong, macho guy who has a real sense of pride and arrogance, some would say.
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and people have been trying to figure out ways to let him end this fall gracefully. people in the square don't care about that. they want to see the back of him, as they say here. that's the problem, mubarak seems unwilling, detached with reality, people say. he just doesn't seem to get it as we say in the states. the consequences are playing out on the street. in recent days, the strikes and protests spread beyond the square to factory floors, to the utility companies, to the post offices, to the universities. all of that attacking the very fiber, the very infrastructure of this society. it is already a struggling place and now workers demanding better treatment on the job, a fair deal at work are joining in the protests, leaving their homes, leaving their businesses, so things are spreading. again, we hope that things stay under control here. but it's a very, very unpredictable day, willie.
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>> should be another eventful day there in tahrir square. ron allen, thank you very much. this morning the obama administration is expressing increasing frustration with the egyptian president. hours after mubarak spoke, president obama issued a written statement in which he write sized the leader for a lack of clarity and direction. it reads the egyptian people have been told that there is a transition of authority but it's not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient. we urge the egyptian government to move swiftly to explain the change, is that have been made and to spell out in clear language the step by step process. the voices of the egyptian people must be heard. earlier in the day the president insisted that the u.s. will do everything possible to promote an orderly transition of power. >> what is absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold. it's a moment of transformation
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that is taking place because the people of egypt are calling for change. so going forward we want those young people and we want all egyptians to know america will continue to do everything that we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy in egypt. >> underscoring the confusion surrounding expectations that mubarak would step down was this comment by cia director leon panetta during his testimony before a congressional hearing just yesterday. >> i got the same information you did, that there is a strong likelihood that mubarak may step down this evening which will be significant in terms of where the hopefully orderly transition in egypt takes place. >> so the cia thought mubarak was stepping aside last night. in yet another statement, remarks by the former director -- the director of national intelligence, james clapper where he said egypt's
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nonsecular muslim brotherhood is largely secularment. >> the term muslim brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. in the case of egypt, a group largely secular which has issued violence and decried al qaeda as a perversion of it's lame. >> his agency said that clapper is well aware that the muslim brotherhood is largely secular in orientation but is not a secular organization. under pressure from within his own party, john boehner is now promising the largest budget cuts in congressional history. speaking before the conservative political action conference last night, boehner said house republicans would vote next week on a spending bill that cuts more than $100 billion in government funding for the current fiscal year. republican leaders had initially outlined plans to cut $74 billion in the funding message,
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but tea party-backed members demanded more. today is day two of cpac, the largest conservative gathers of the year where possible republican presidential candidates are trying to show they have what it takes to defeat president obama next year. one of the highlights was a previously unscheduled appearance by that man, donald j. trump. >> while i'm not at this time a candidate for the presidency, i will decide by june whether or not i will become one. the united states has become a whipping post for the rest of the world. the world is treating us without respect, they are not treating us properly. and i can tell you this -- if i run and if i win, this country will be respected again. this country will be respected again. i can tell you that.
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>> i got to tell you, a lot of observers yesterday said he was the star of the event. one of the rowdier moments came when trump mentioned potential presidential candidate, rand paul. >> by the way, rand paul cannot get elected. i'm sorry to tell you. you know what else? i think he's a good guy. i like him, but honestly, he has zero chance of getting elected. you have to win an election. >> he has my vote. former vice president dick cheney didn't get the warmest welcome at the conference. during a surprise appearance to introduce former defense secretary, don rumsfeld, one member of the audience heckled cheney while a majority of supporters chanted usa. a minority were upset that rumsfeld was there to receive a defender of the constitution
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awar award. >> usa! usa! >> all right. sit down and shut up. >> war criminal! >> the usual spirited exercise. >> so obviously mostly cheer there did you hear some of the comments thrown at cheney, war criminal and draft dodger. we will hear more from cpac coming up later. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," much more on the crisis unfolding in egypt. president mubarak refusing to step down saying he will stay in
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office until september. full analysis coming up in just few minutes. and you already heard the donald squash any hopes for a ron paul presidential run. later in the show, he makes the case for his own bid in 2012. that story and a check on weather when "way too early" comes right back from the rl restaurant in chicago. >> this is mandela, mr. nelson mandela, a free man taking his first steps into a new south africa. winter can be beautiful.
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how can expedia now save me even more on my hotel? well, hotels know they can't fill every room every day. like this one. and this one. and oops, my bad. so, they give expedia ginormous discounts with these: unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. my brain didn't even break a sweat. where you book matters. expedia. welcome back to "way too
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early." a picture of the rl restaurant where we will be all morning for "way too early" and "morning joe." we got here yesterday, it was less than zero, the temperature. let's put it that way. it's warming up to about 14 degrees right now. let's check your weather now from nbc meteorologist bill karins back in new york. >> i'm wondering if you're okay. are you all right? >> i'm in a bar at 4:45 in the morning. >> dressed in a tie, sinatra on the wall, maybe capone, looking kind of -- looking good. >> michael jordan sitting right there. it will be a good day. >> willie will be a made man by the end of the show. willie was mentioning the cold in chicago there's snow covering much of country. 65% of the nation has snow covering it it will improve quickly, not today so much but over the weekend. a big warm up. chicago at 5. windchills minus 2. later on today, chicago maybe about 26 degrees for a high. the big warm up is underway in the middle of the country.
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it will spread to the east coast. chicago, we go from 26 today to sunday about 39. that's about a 15 degree improvement. other areas like washington, d.c., what a weekend this is going to be. saturday and sunday, upper 40s to low 50s out there. around the country today, the bottom line is it's still cold but we will see dramatic improvements out there, even chicago by the end of the weekend. >> i heard it is going to be like spring here, like 35 or something. >> that's spring for chicago. >> thank you very much. let's turn to sports now. if you're looking for bulls highlights from chicago, there weren't any. the blackhawks own the stanley cup and the cubs won the world series in '08, 1908 that is. there was a classic nba rivalry last night. lakers and celtics. ray allen looking to make history. two three-pointers shy of breaking reggie miller's all-time record.
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in the first quarter, he does it. live off a feed from rondo. the record, 2,562. after the shot he heads over to reggie miller and the crowd shares a moment. not a lot more to celebrate. the lakers jumped ahead in the second half didn't look back. lakers win it 92-86. to college hoops, this one is for me and for joe, mostly for me. vandy and alabama. late in the game, trevor relliford drives the lent of the court. puts in the layup between three commodore defenders. vanderbilt has a time out. they decide not to take it. inbound to tinsley. hits the free-throw. down two, greene gets the ball, drives baseline. the ref blows the whistle says he steps out of bound. alabama's coaches and players are furious. they are just jealous of vanderbilt.
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vanderbilt wins, 81-77. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," hundreds of thousands gather in protests as hosni mubarak defies what everybody thought would happen and stays in office. what's the white house's next move? when we come back here, we will tip our hats to some of the biggest names that have called this great city of chicago home. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "way too early." it's cold outside in chicago, illinois. but luckily we are inside the rl restaurant. yes, it is awfully toasty in here. you know, president obama, harrison ford, michael jordan, bill murray, al capone, rocket rod blagojevich some of the people who make their marks on the windy city, if you want to sound smart tell your friends that walt disney born in 1901 attended evening classes at the city's art institute. his dream to become a newspaper cartoonist. that worked out well for him. let's huddle up around the
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fireplace to talk about some of the mindless trivia you crave. i want to go back to cpac. donald trump was the star. that is not just me talking. experts in the room say he stole the conference. you know what? actually let's start with something else because it was very exciting when they were introducing the first speaker. this is the conservative political action committee. listen to the music they were playing as they waited to introduce the first speaker. ♪ put it to your head pace ♪ one in the chamber ♪ the safety is off ♪ i want to see cabbage ♪ biggie smalls a savage ♪ put your [ bleep ] hands up >> nothing says cpac like biggie's ready to die. love that. here is donald trump yesterday at cpac talking about what else? donald trump. >> over the years i've participated in many battles,
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and have really almost come out very, very victorious every single time. i have fairly but intelligently earned many billions of dollars, which, in a sense, was both a score card and acknowledgment of my abilities. steve forbes stated that i was one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the history of free trade. i graduated from the wharton school of finance, which is the best business school in my opinion. i'm also well acquainted with winning. and that's what this country needs now, winning. >> you know what? in his defense, he didn't just speak about himself, he also spoke about other people speak being him. steve forbes said i was the greatest. you want to stick around for "morning joe" because we will take a walking tour of chicago not the one you usually get, blago's walking tour. all the sights that blagojevich made famous.
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don't miss that. check out this tweet. oprah winfrey is going to be here with us. how do we know this? she tweeted about it last night. going to be bed so i can be ready for morning joe. still ahead, your windy city texts and e-mails are next and "morning joe" live from the rl restaurant in chicago just moments away. with all the equipment you use to stay fit, you might want to try lifting one of these. in recent years we've added a unique natural sea salt to over 40 campbell's condensed soups. it helps us reduce sodium, but not flavor. so if you're ready to eat a little better, grab your spoon and do a few lifts. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ [ male announcer ] know the feeling? try acuvue® oasys brand contact lenses. with hydraclear® plus for exceptional comfort.
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i have no idea what these people are doing up at this hour, but what are you doing up at this hour? we asked you at the top of the show. rob back in new york has answers. hi, rob? >> bill writes wanted to see if willie would be having a hot dog or deep dish pizza today. >> hum. hot dog or deep dish pizza? >> deep dish. >> deep dish it is. will writes hoping earoprah mig be on early giving away cars. >> why do you think thes


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